When we recorded the latest episode of the Fire Confidential podcast last Wednesday it seemed that things were moving along with Arne Friedrich's injury recovery and the veteran centerback would be back in the line-up if not for the Houston game then certainly for the upcoming match against Columbus on Saturday. Now it seems that Friedrich won't be making his return as soon as had been hoped. According to MLSsoccer.com's Anthony Zillis, Frank Klopas told reporters after training today that Friedrich had suffered a setback and he was not sure when he would return to the line-up.
Friedrich was non-committal about his availability for the Houston match at the time of recording last week but sounded like he felt that the Columbus game was a sure thing. When he didn't travel to Houston most assumed it to be a precautionary measure but it seems that the "setback" occurred on Friday in the last training session before the Dynamo game. Regardless of when it happened, this is certainly not good news for a team desperately in need of shoring up a defense that has allowed the most goals in MLS through six matches.
Friedrich's absence probably means that Jalil Anibaba and Austin Berry will continue to start in the middle with Wells Thompson at right back. Klopas does have Mike Videira available but Steven Kinney was listed as questionable last week with a quad issue.
NBC Sports and the Premier League
NBC Sports Network unveiled massive plans for the upcoming 2013-14 Barclay's Premier League season. The network acquired the US rights to televise BPL games last October for an impressive sum of somewhere between $80-85 million dollars annually and they're continuing to invest in a big way. Here's the release:
All 380 games of the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League season will be presented live on NBC Sports Group’s television and digital properties as well as other NBCUniversal channels. NBC Sports Group’s schedule, which begins on Saturday, August 17, includes live matches on NBC, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, Mun2, the Premier League Extra Time package of overflow television channels, the NBC Sports Live Extrawebsite and app, and other NBCUniversal channels including CNBC and USA.
As previously announced in October 2012, NBCUniversal, via the NBC Sports Group, acquired the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Premier League through a multi-year agreement that begins with the 2013-14 season. Per the agreement, NBCUniversal becomes the exclusive English- and Spanish-language media rights holder to all 380 Barclays Premier League matches across all media platforms and devices in the United States.
Details of the 2013-2014 NBC Sports Group Premier League programming include:
- All 380 matches presented live on television with studio pre- and post-game coverage;
- All 380 matches streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra;
- Games not aired on a designated NBCUniversal channel will be made available to distributors via Premier League Extra Time, a package of overflow television channels available at no extra cost for each of their customers who receives NBC Sports Network;
- Championship Sunday – May 11, 2014, when all 10 Premier League matches will be available live on a different NBCUniversal channel;
- 76 Spanish-language telecasts, 10 on Telemundo, 66 on Mun2;
- More than 600 hours of Premier League original programming.
NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: Every Barclays Premier League match will be streamed live viaNBC Sports Live Extra, the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktop, mobile and tablets and, in most cases, on the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, telco and other video subscription services. The vast majority of Barclays Premier League matches will be streamed via “TV Everywhere,” available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of these services.
NBC Sports Live Extra provides a primary and second screen experience across mobile, tablet and desktop, delivering high quality video, match/player stats and video highlights while aggregating Premier League content from social media.
PREMIER LEAGUE EXTRA TIME: All games not aired on a designated NBCUniversal channel will be made available to distributors on Premier League Extra Time, a package of overflow television channels available at no extra cost for each of their customers who receives NBC Sports Network.
CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY: The biggest day on the Premier League schedule is the last day of the season when all 20 teams play at the same time. NBCUniversal will present each match ofChampionship Sunday live across a host of NBCU channels, including NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA, MSNBC, E! and more.
STUDIO AND ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING: NBC Sports Network will present more than 600 hours each year of studio and original programming surrounding Premier League. Shows include:
- Premier League Countdown – A preview of the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League season;
- Premier League Download – With the help of a number of high-profile celebrity supporters, comedians and journalists, Premier League Download will explore what it is that’s so intensely loved – and loathed – about England’s topflight league. Long-time supporters will enjoy the lively commentary, while new fans will learn the language of the only league that matters;
- Premier League 36 – NBC Sports Network’s acclaimed 36 series that follows athletes for the 36 hours leading up to a game/match/race comes to the Premier League;
- Premier League Goal Zone – A 30-minute program airing after the matches on Sunday with highlights of all the goals scored on Saturday and Sunday;
- Game Cut-Downs – On Monday nights, NBCSN will present a two-hour show featuring cut-down versions of the Manchester United and Manchester City matches. On Tuesdays, a two-hour program will feature the Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham matches;
- Match of the Day – A two-hour show featuring extended highlights with the natural calls of every game on Saturday. This show is modeled after the highly-regarded BBC show of the same name. Match of the Day will re-air on Sunday mornings;
- Match of the Day 2 – A 90-minute show featuring extended highlights with the natural calls of every game on Sunday. This show is modeled after the BBC show of the same name;
- Match of the Week – On Sunday nights, NBCSN will re-air the best match of the weekend in its entirety;
- Barclays Premier League World – A weekly magazine show produced by Premier League;
- Barclays Premier League Preview – A weekly show produced by Premier League that previews the upcoming week’s matches;
- Barclays Premier League Review – A weekly show produced by Premier League that recaps all the matches from the past week.
|GAMES BY PLATFORM||(Subject to Change)|
|Premier League Extra Time||184|
|Other NBCU Channels||22|
|NBC Sports Live Extra||380|
TYPICAL WEEKLY PROGRAMMING GRID (All games live; All times ET)
|7 a.m. – NBCSN||8 a.m. – NBCSN||2:30 p.m. – NBCSN|
|10 a.m. – NBCSN||11 a.m. – NBCSN/Telemundo|
|12:30 p.m. – NBC|
Arlo White will be leaving the MLS broadcast booth and will serve as the lead play by play announcer for the Premier League games on NBC and their affiliates.
Now if only some of this can translate into MLS and television viewership for the domestic league......